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Is Goethe Treasure or Traitor? – Nazi Pundits Disagree

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THE PUNDITS OF NAZIDOM APPARENTLY ARE TROUBLED BY THE FACT THAT SOME OF GERMANY’S GREATEST WRITERS, INCLUDING GOETHE AND SCHILLER, DO NOT EXACTLY AGREE WITH THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST PHILOSOPHY.

REPORTS PUBLISHED HERE IN THE MAGAZINE RACES ET RACISME INDICATE THAT GERMAN OFFICIALS DIFFER AS TO WHETHER GOETHE’S WRITINGS SHALL REMAIN ENSHRINED AS NATIONAL TREASURES OR BE BANNED AS DANGEROUS PROPAGANDA.

THE MAGAZINE CITES AN ARTICLE IN LA REPUBLIQUE, WHICH QUOTES DR. HJALMAR SCHACHT, REICH MINISTER OF FINANCE, WRITING IN THE AMERICAN QUARTERLY FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AS SAYING: “BELIEVE ME, MY AMERICAN FRIENDS, WHEN I TELL YOU THAT THE GERMAN PEOPLE IS TODAY THE SAME AS THE ONE THAT GAVE GOETHE TO THE WORLD.”

“UNFORTUNATELY,” SAYS LA REPUBLIQUE, “THIS OPINION OF DR. SCHACHT’S DOES NOT SEEM TO BE SHARED BY ALL THE NAZI AUTHORITIES. IN FACT, AN ENGLISHMAN WHO HAD ORDERED FROM A GERMAN EDITOR A COMPLETE EDITION OF THE “CONVERSATIONS OF GOETHE,” A WORK PUBLISHED FIFTY YEARS AGO BY BARON WOLDEMAR DE BIEDERMANN, RECEIVED THE REPLY THAT ‘THE ENTIRE STOCK OF THIS EDITION HAS BEEN DESTROYED BY ORDER OF THE MINISTER OF PROPAGANDA.'”

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